After struggling in all facets to open their season, the Miami Hurricanes will host the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Saturday, September 11. In their first home game of the season, the Hurricanes look to get their season back on track.
With only one game under their belts, there is not a lot to go off of for this game, but there are some interesting story-lines as we look at a Miami vs Appalachian State preview.
Appalachian State Mountaineers
The Mountaineers opened their season with an impressive win over the East Carolina Pirates, 33-19. App State’s offense was effective through the air and on the ground with 485 yards. The defense also showed up and played really well, allowing just nine points until the final six minutes and 25 seconds.
Quarterback Chase Brice passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns and just one interception. His top targets for the game were Thomas Hennigan (4 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown) and Corey Xavier Sutton (4 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown). Brice does have experience against Miami though. Last season, he started for Duke and struggled against the Hurricanes, losing 48-0. He completed 80 percent of his passes, but only picked up 94 yards on his 25 attempts.
The rushing attack found a lot of success in their first game, picking up 226 yards. Nate Noel led the way with 126 yards on just 15 carries. Camerun Peoples also reached triple-digits on the ground, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
Maybe the best opportunity for the Mountaineers is catching the Hurricanes off a disappointing opening game where they were beat up. They will need to capitalize on the Hurricanes not only thinking back about a tough loss, but also possibly looking forward a week to their matchup with the Michigan State Spartans.
Appalachian State also needs to continue producing on offense against a Miami defense that has struggled to stop both the pass and run going back to last season. Brice must improve off his performance against this defense he faced a season ago to keep this close.
Not only do the Hurricanes have to forget about what happened last week, they can’t look forward to next week. There are few programs who have as big an upset as the Appalachian State Mountaineers. And they would love nothing more than to beat another top-25 team. The Canes entered the season ranked 16 in the Coaches Poll, but fell to 24 after the opening loss.
Though it was definitely expected, Miami struggled against a more-talented Alabama team to open their season. The offense struggled to get anything going, putting up just 13 points and 266 yards. The defense had just a rough a day, allowing 44 points and 501 yards.
The Mountaineers are obviously not as dangerous as the Tide, but they could definitely surprise an unprepared Canes team. The only time these teams faced one another was in 2016 when Miami won on the road, 45-10. That is the type of performance they need this time around to build up some confidence heading into a huge stretch with Michigan State, Virginia, and North Carolina as three of their next four games.
Even though they’ve struggled in their last few outings, the Hurricane defense does have some familiarity with Brice. And with a fast defense, they should be able to contain an offense that isn’t nearly as talented as Alabama. The offense should also be able to help them out much more than they did last week.
Though everyone remembers the legendary upset of Michigan, don’t expect an upset here. After a disappointing performance to open the season, a veteran led Miami team will open their season at home with focus and should control this game on both sides.
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